Ann Farabee column: School daze?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 22, 2021

By Ann Farabee

School days or school daze? This year it feels like a little of both.

The definition of the word daze includes some descriptive words: stunned, confused, bewildered, stupefied. Stupefied means astonished, shocked, or made unable to think or feel properly.

Those words may be somewhat appropriate for how life is in our world right now, as we try to get back to normal.  So, as school days begin, at first they may feel like school daze.


Here are some ideas that may help our children adjust to the new school year:

Sleep. It is important for learning, behavior, focus, mood, and growth. Suggested amounts:

Ages 3 to 6: 10-12 hours; ages 7 to 12: 10-11 hours; ages 13 to 18: 8-10 hours

Breakfast. It is important for health, behavior, growth and higher academic achievement. Diet should include whole grains, fiber, protein, and make it low in sugar.

Prayer. As you say the morning good-bye, pray with your child. It just takes a few seconds and will be remembered forever — and probably passed on to the next generation. Also, teach your child to pray for themselves — while at school. They don’t have to close their eyes. They don’t have to pray aloud. God hears our thoughts. Prayer is our greatest weapon.

God’s word. Help your child memorize a verse to bring to mind at school throughout the day. A good verse to start off the year would be Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ.” Write it down and they can put it in their pockets, book bags, or lunch boxes. I kept a handwritten verse of scripture on my desk at all times when I was teaching. It sure did help.

Table talk. Table talk refers to the conversations we have with our children. It could be while eating a meal. It could be in the car. It could be any time of the day where the timing feels right. I personally find that asking, “How was your day?” results in a one word response like, “Good.” So, I try to ask questions that lead to actual conversation.

Family talk. Family talk refers to times where there is an intentional gathering of family to read God’s word or pray together.

Connections. Show up at school events. Volunteer to help at school events. Send emails or notes to the teacher. Parents are part of their child’s educational experience. Our children need to know that education matters.

Homework station. Keep all needed school tools and book bags at a work station set aside for your child to use at home daily.

Book bags hold information. The importance of book bags should never be underestimated. They almost seem to be a child’s personal place of residency. Help your student learn to keep it organized and uncluttered. Look through it. Yes, look through it. You can learn a lot. As you look through it, remove molded bread, melted chocolate, or similar items.

Bedtime talk. It is the best. Bedtime seems to be when many children are ready to share their thoughts. Make time for it. Take time for it. Pray together.

Deuteronomy 11:19 encourages us to put God’s word in our children’s hearts by speaking of them when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up.

Lord, may the school days be sweet — and may we not be in a daze for long. Amen

Ready… set…school !!!

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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